Lessons & Discoveries
I had settled myself well in La Paz and got stuck into my writing. A challenge because I have never allowed myself such allocated time to write, a beauty but also something I found very difficult. Some things I have learnt so far:
1. Creativity is not a tap you can turn on and off (annoyingly). No matter how hard you concentrate or if you set yourself a time frame or schedule; everything can be thrown out the window.
2. Ideas/ solutions/ energy comes at the weirdest and unnatural times of the day (Usually in the shower or as I am about to sleep?!) It is about knowing and taking that opportunity to acknowledge and start/ write/ expand that idea when it is fresh - i.e at stupid o'clock in the morning.
3. The idea or creative direction will feel spectacular at first then suddenly the next day there's the "what the hell were you thinking?!", IGNORE THIS AND KEEP GOING.
4. I can only concentrate on one or maximum two independent creative projects (consider I am working 8.30am - 8pm Mon -Sat). Anymore than this, and nothing gets done. Is this the same for other creatives? Or jumping into many things keep your mind fresh? Comments welcome.
Is London the best place to be as an Artist?
Most of my journey so far abroad has been geared towards finishing projects to take back into London. London: a busy, over saturated, competitive art hive. I have not begun to discuss the increasing price of living in London. La Paz, due to the exchange rate working in my favour and being less expensive, has allowed me to work on my own things instead of working to stay in a city where the reality is that you find less time to do your art.
I am now questioning where else I can take my work. Is London, or another established city like New York, the 'must be place' to be successful? Whilst being in La Paz, a developing city and meeting new people, I am now directing and heading a new project, a documentary called 'Un Día en Bolivia' and along the way meeting new creatives. They seem to survive. There is less competition, I myself am bringing new processes and this opportunity would have not been offered to me in London; I would have not had nearly the right credentials and experience.
What do we benefit from cities such as London:
Easy access to a market? Resources like libraries/ events/ support workshops and groups? More jobs? You could argue that these reasons are interchangeable and could apply to anywhere, especially now that there is an internet platform to seek new jobs, nurture the creativity. How much do we spend online than outside? I'm sure on average more of our lives are indoors and online. One thing that I do love about London and the reason I know I will keep revisiting is the people. It is the people for me, and I suppose many others, that attract me to the city. Cities bring people from different corners of the world and with them they bring new ideas, resources and inspire us. But I suppose you could potentially find that anywhere?
For one week, due to personal circumstances, I have found myself back in London. I am currently in my favourite tea shop, Yumchaa, in Soho writing this. I am in the luxury of being able for the first time to flit from two contrasting cities, whilst working in the midst of creative projects, and see what feels right for me. Or maybe both? Maybe it is my job to make sure I don't get stuck in one place; although I must say moving from place to place is an exciting one, but sometimes lonely. What happens later when you want to settle? (ha shall come to that when 'that' comes along'). Or I suppose the next question would be, should I wait for the right job and when the fuck will that be? Or wait for it to come to me? I'm gearing towards the latter.